South Korean OEMs' global sales grow over 5 percent in May
South Korean OEMs' global sales grow 5.2% y/y in May
South Korean automakers posted a combined 5.2% year-on-year (y/y) increase in their global sales to 704,093 units in May, according to data released by the five domestic manufacturers and reported by Yonhap News Agency. The five automakers reported a combined 1.3% y/y decrease in domestic sales to 133,663 units last month, while their combined overseas sales grew 6.9% y/y to 570,448 units. The country's top-selling automaker, Hyundai, posted a global sales increase of 5.7% y/y to 387,017 units in May. Its domestic sales totalled 61,896 units, up 2.1% y/y, while its overseas sales went up by 6.4% y/y to 325,121 units. Global sales of its affiliate, Kia, grew by 9.0% y/y to 247,176 units, with domestic sales up 8.1% y/y to 47,046 units and overseas sales up 9.2% y/y to 200,130 units. General Motors (GM) Korea reported a 5.1% y/y decrease in its total sales to 40,879 units during the month, with domestic sales down 35.3% y/y to 7,670 units and overseas sales up 6.3% y/y to 33,209 units. Renault Samsung's sales plunged 21.5% y/y to 16,101 units in May, with domestic sales down 20.4% y/y to 7,342 units and overseas sales down 22.5% y/y to 8,759 units. SsangYong's global sales grew by 4.6% y/y to 12,920 units during the month. The automaker sold 3,229 units in overseas markets in May, up 53.0% y/y, while its domestic sales fell 5.2% y/y to 9,709 units. For the year to date (YTD), Hyundai's global sales are up 2.4% y/y at 1.83 million units. It is followed by Kia with 1.13 million units (up 3.9% y/y), GM Korea with 199,840 units (down 15.1% y/y), Renault Samsung with 104,097 units (down 4.6% y/y), and SsangYong with 54,514 units (down 5.4% y/y).
Significance: The increase in global sales by South Korean automakers during May was largely down to an improvement in overseas sales, thanks to a low base of comparison and a recovery in demand for Hyundai and Kia vehicles in China. Meanwhile, in the domestic market, the automakers continued to struggle during the month, mainly due to sluggish vehicle demand in the country. However, Hyundai and Kia managed to post solid growth in their domestic sales on the back of new model. The Korea Automobile Manufacturers' Association (KAMA) expects South Korean automakers' combined global sales to remain flat at 4.39 million units in 2018, mainly due to weak consumer sentiment in South Korea amid increased household debt and rising oil prices, along with severe pressure as a result of rising competition from global rivals in overseas markets.
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